Husband and wife builders banned

Two directors of Ideal Builders Liverpool, which went into liquidation in October 2011 owing £98,529 to creditors, have been disqualified for a total of 12 years for failing to keep adequate accounts.

The disqualification, which starts on 25 December 2013, follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Investigators found that James Thomas McStein, 50, of West Derby, Liverpool, acted as a director of Ideal although the only formally appointed director was his wife Susan Eleanor McStein, 48.

Mr and Mrs McStein each gave undertakings to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills that they would not act as directors, manage, or in any way control a company for six years until 24 December 2019.

In giving the undertakings, Mr and Mrs McStein did not dispute that they failed to ensure that Ideal either maintained, preserved or, alternatively, delivered up to the company's liquidator adequate accounting records, which meant it was impossible to verify, among other things, the total income of the company.

Some customers had also been instructed to make payments into the personal accounts of Mr and Mrs McStein, and investigators found that at least £59,934 of these payments had not been entered into Ideal's records.

This meant it was not possible to identify all Ideal's customers, or to know whether there were other payments which did not make it into the company's accounts.

Robert Clarke, head of insolvent investigations North at the Insolvency Service, said: "Directors have a duty to ensure that their company maintains proper accounting records as required by law.

"Mr and Mrs McStein did not hide the fact that they sometimes used personal accounts to conduct Ideal's business, but no sales invoices, or comparable documents, were handed over.

"This meant that it was not possible to identify all Ideal's customers, or to know whether there were other payments which did not make it into the company's account.

"These disqualifications should serve as a reminder to directors that in such circumstances, the Insolvency Service will investigate and remove such operators from the market place for a considerable period of time."

Mr McStein's date of birth is 15 January 1963; Mrs McStein's date of birth is 29 January 1965. Ideal was incorporated on 18 May 2009, company number 06908868. The company's registered office was situated at Clock House Tower, Trueman Street, Liverpool L3 2BA.

Ideal was placed into Creditors Voluntary Liquidation ("CVL") on 12 October 2011, with no assets, and liabilities to creditors totalling £98,529. Mr McStein was previously a formally appointed director of Haven Builders (Merseyside) Ltd (company number 05154272), which was placed into CVL on 13 December 2005, and of Haven Builders Ltd (company number 05542603), which was placed into CVL on 24 April 2009.

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